GE Marine has delivered its first lightweight LM2500 composite gas turbine module to Austal USA for the USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32).

Certified by the US Navy last year, the new module has received MIL-S-901D shock qualification.

The turbine provides a 5,500-pound weight savings and a 60% quieter enclosure.

The LCS 32 will be powered by two GE LM2500 gas turbines in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration.

Under the four-year Module Modernization Programme (MMP), the company collaborated with the US Navy and Bath Iron Works.

RL Industries in Fairfield, Ohio, and GE helped in developing and qualifying the carbon fibre enclosure.

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DRS Power Technology in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, partnered with GE for the inspection of quality requirements and package assembly.

Modifications to the LM2500 system include the composite module and components. The system features fewer shock mounts for weight reduction.

The system’s components, including sensors, transducers, ice and flame detectors, and heater, have also been updated.

The LM2500 gas turbines were manufactured at GE’s facility in Evendale, Ohio.

GE Marine vice-president and general manager Kris Shepherd said: “One of the most important design features of this new module is that it provides a safer environment and improved access for sailors.

“By using lightweight composites versus the steel enclosure predecessor, wall temperatures are 25oF to 50oF degrees cooler so there is less heat rejected into the engine room.”